It’s reported that the NFL made approximately $16 billion in revenue last year. Football is big money. The organization disbursed $8.78 billion to its clubs. Fortune magazine reports that the NFL will quickly pass the $25 billion revenue mark, especially as a growing number of digital distributors such as Amazon step up to stream the games.
With all that money flowing around, it’s interesting to note that The Green Bay Packers is a publicly held nonprofit corporation. It’s the only such team in the NFL. It’s estimated that there are more than 5 million outstanding shares, and no one individual is allowed to own more than 200,000 shares.
So, above and beyond the player stats, the Packers are also the only American major-league sports franchise that releases a financial balance sheet each year. Article I of their bylaws declares, “This association shall be a community project, intended to promote community welfare.” The bylaws later stipulate that the association’s purposes “shall be exclusively charitable.” To sell itself or become a for-profit organization, the team would have to dissolve itself. In such a case each shareholder will receive $25 for each share of stock owned. The Packers’ management team is also its board of directors and elected by the stockholders.
Public ownership of the team creates a deep sense of loyalty by the residents of Green Bay and the surrounding area. With a waiting list time of 30 years or more, season tickets are often willed from one generation to the next. Possession is also hotly contested in divorce proceedings. The game of football brings out the competition in us all, but it’s rare to find the deep support that Green Bay Packers fans display. And it’s because they truly own the team.
We’re a Part of the Game
We don’t own any Green Bay Packers stock, but we do feel as if we are contributing to the success of football as a national sport. Our products are down there on the field and throughout the stadiums.
Each of the NFL teams welcomed an average of more than 543,000 attendees to home games across last year’s season. It comes to more than 67,000 people per game. Some of these spectators pulled their tickets from a plastic or vinyl holder we produced. Down on the field personnel responsible for game operations kept their ID prominent and protected with a badge holder like those we produce.
The 100th season of the NFL might just be getting underway, but we’ve been working on it behind the scenes for a while now.